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"Don't tell me no one has told the girl that she isn't exactly human!"

A character has grown up thinking that they're only one race or species. It's only later in life that they learn of their true heritage. Perhaps the only people who knew were their long-lost parents, or the people who raised them thought it would be wise to hide the truth until they were old enough to understand, or they were forced into circumstances that caused them to manifest a Hybrid Power. This trope can apply to Artificial Hybrids as well.

After learning this information, the character could be angry at the people around them for not telling them the truth, relieved to learn why they were so unusual, or curious to learn more. They may also experience Half-Breed Angst, particularly if they've previously expressed bigotry towards one of their parent races, or shown signs of Half-Breed Discrimination, only to discover that You Are What You Hate.

Subtrope of The Reveal. Compare Child of Two Worlds, Human Alien Discovery (if the character is a Half-Human Hybrid who looks almost entirely human), I Am Who?, Luke, I Am Your Father, and Tomato in the Mirror.

As this is a Plot Twist trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Charmy Pappitson in Black Clover learns that she's actually half-dwarf while fighting the elf Lira, manifesting her second magic attribute, food magic which lets her eat an enemy's magic, when injured. Hilariously, she not only learns that she's half-dwarf but doesn't even know what dwarves are, with Mimosa having to describe the race to her.
  • Bleach: Initially, Ichigo Kurosaki is introduced as an ordinary human who just happens to obtain extremely powerful spiritual powers after he borrows those powers from Rukia, a Soul Reaper. After Rukia's powers are taken away, however, Ichigo learns he has his own powers, although the fact that some Soul Reapers are the souls of deceased humans isn't unheard of. It's within the next arc that we learn that Ichigo's father was a Soul Reaper, making him a Half-Human Hybrid. Ichigo himself doesn't learn this until much, much later. He also learns even later than that that his mother wasn't human, either, and that her spirit was also tainted by the essence of a Hollow. This makes Ichigo actually a hybrid of four distinct types of soul: Human, Soul Reaper, Quincy and Hollow.
  • In episode 11 of Day Break Illusion, Etia, against the order of the other members of Leguzario, reveals to Akari that her father was a Daemonia at the time of her conception and birth, revealing that this half-Daemonia nature is why she can understand the thoughts of the Daemonia she's fought and killed.
  • Delicious in Dungeon: A variant where Marcille has always known she's a half-elf, but none of her friends did (they assumed she was a full elf) until the Mad Sorcerer outed her in front of everybody. She never brought it up before because it's a sensitive topic for her, tied up with her fears about outliving all her loved ones.
  • Naraku from Inuyasha turns out to be the Big Bad early in the series. However, Inuyasha, Miroku and the other protagonists assumed he was a demon. When Kikyo reveals him as a half-demon, it comes as a big surprise to the viewer.
    • One episode has the half-demon Gyu-oh. Unlike the other half-demons, he is a pure human during the day and a pure demon at night. In this way, he was able to establish two identities, and travels unrecognized during the day as a human named Izumo. Eventually he transforms in front of Kagome, who is surprised to find that he is a half-demon.
    • The sequel series Yashahime: Princess Half-Demon has Towa Higurashi. She lives in the modern era, and doesn't know that she is a half-demon. She probably knew she couldn't be human due to her superhuman strength, but she doesn't realize she's a half-demon until she meets Moroha.
  • Princess Tutu: Zig-Zagged. First, human Rue discovers she had her memories of being Kraehe, the Raven's daughter erased. Kraehe has been told since childhood that she is a raven shamefully born with a human-looking body. But later, she discovers she was born human and stolen from her parents as an infant, and was fed raven's blood in order to receive his powers and act as his servant beyond his prison. This makes her an Artificial Hybrid.
  • RuriDragon: The story begins with Ruri, a Japanese middle schooler, waking up one day with a pair of horns on her head. Seeing them, her mother (a single parent) absent-mindedly informs Ruri that her dad is a dragon. Being sort of an airhead, she's never mentioned it before not for any dramatic reasons but simply because it's never come up.
  • Tenchi Muyo!: Tenchi Masaki grew up believing he was an ordinary earth boy, even planning to follow in his grandfather's footsteps to become a temple priest. Then he discovers said grandfather is actually an alien prince of the local galactic superpower, which puts Tenchi in line for the throne as well as causes him to begin to acquire galactic enemies seeking to take advantage of that.
  • Kill la Kill: Ryuko Matoi learns that she's part Life Fiber after Ragyo Kiryuin non-fatally tears her heart out during the Sports and Culture Festival, also revealing her as Ragyo's second daughter.

    Comic Books 
  • Captain Britain: Brian Braddock, his brother Jamie and his sister Psylocke grew up believing that their parents were normal humans. Then they discovered that their father was actually one of Merlin's agents, a dweller in Otherworld who came to Earth before they were born.
  • Captain Marvel: Carol Danvers was eventually retconned from "was given Kree DNA by Captain Mar-Vell protecting her from a Psyche-Magnitron explosion" to "always was a Kree-Human hybrid and her mother was a Retired Badass Kree warrior."
  • Invincible: Early in the story Mark Grayson learns that he's actually half Viltrumite by way of his father, Nolan Grayson also known as Omni-Man. While Mark did know his father was a superhero, he didn't know Nolan was an actual alien. Unfortunately, this revelation kicks off Omni-Man's slaughter of the Guardians of the Globe and reveal as an intergalactic villain.
  • Superman: Jonathan Samuel Kent is the son of Clark Kent and Lois Lane. In his earliest stories, he and his family were refugees from a forgotten timeline; Clark and Lois (living under assumed names) were forced to cope with living in a world with a much different history than they remembered, which also had its own Superman and Lois. Their problems become compounded when Jon begins manifesting superpowers on his own and is told that not only is his father Superman (or rather, a Superman) but that he himself is half-Kryptonian. He reacts harshly to the news at first, but over time comes to enjoy his developing powers and having the world's greatest superhero for a dad. (Later stories retconned the "timeline refugees" angle, but this did not affect Jon's overall story too much.)
  • Wonder Girl: Cassie grew up thinking she was human and that her father was dead, she started out as a superhero using powered items rather than any power of her own. She later learned that her mother had lied to her and that her powers were sealed, she is the half human demigod daughter of Zeus.

    Fan Works 
  • In the The Secret Show and Psychonauts fanfic Tell Him All But The Truth, Victor grew up thinking he was fully human. It wasn't until he was injured during a training exercise at U.Z.Z. that he found out that he's actually half-human, with his father Lionel being an alien, specifically a Wobbleman.
  • Red Sadie: The ending of the first part, The Eye of the Storm, reveals that Sadie Miller is actually a half-gem like Steven, with her "father" being a Ruby named Kay.
  • The Twilight Man: Jonathan Joestar grew up believing that he and his late mother Mary were normal humans, minus their immense height and their star-shaped birthmarks on their shoulder-blade, plus Mary's Delicate and Sickly nature and Jonathan's strength. In Blood Obligation, Wamuu's investigation of Mary's past would reveal that her father was a member of his race, the nightmen.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Near the end of Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Peter Quill discovers that he's a Half-Human Hybrid, rather than pure human. In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, it's revealed that Quill's father is actually a Celestial, specifically Ego the Living Planet, who took human form to romance his human mother and sire a worthy partner as part of a complex Assimilation Plot.
  • The Luck of the Irish: The plot of the film involves Kyle discovering he's half Leprechaun. As a result of losing his family's lucky coin, he and his mother begin to physically transform, though his transformation is a lot slower due to his human blood.
  • Marcus Wright from Terminator Salvation is a strange kind of hybrid between a human and a terminator. He is very surprised when he finds out. This is justified because he was formerly a human, and when he died he left his body to science, unaware that they would rebuild it into something like that.

  • Rob the centaur in Deep Secret, as it turns out he has a human father. This is extremely important as the plot hinges on who is the heir to an multiple-dimension spanning Empire. Half-human centaurs are indistinguishable from full blooded ones, if a bit smaller.
  • In N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy, Oree finds out that she's a demon — a distant descendant of a god. This poses her some difficulty, as demon blood is deadly poison to gods, most demons were exterminated for this reason, and a Divine Conflict is looming.
  • In Night World, Jez Redfern learns she's actually half-vampire, half-human early in Huntress, when an interaction with a human gang leader triggers her repressed childhood memories of the night her parents were allegedly killed by vampire hunters. She confronts her uncle and he confirms her suspicions, also explaining her parents were killed by vampires and he raised her to believe she was a full vampire to protect her. Jez is deeply affected by this, especially as she spent most of her life hating humans and has killed many of them. She gives up drinking blood and seeks out her estranged human family, hoping to atone for her past actions.
  • Percy from Percy Jackson and the Olympians had no idea that he was a demigod, more so, even the son of Poseidon, one of the most powerful Greek gods. He only finds out at the age of twelve when a monster is chasing him.
  • Lucky, the seemingly-human protagonist of S. F. Said's Phoenix, spends most of the book searching for his father, but it turns out he's not his biological father. Lucky is, in fact, half axxa, and only looks human because such hybrids always resemble their mother's species.
  • In A River Of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy, Eva discovers at the end of the book (as set up to the sequel) that she is half-human, half-khimaer.
  • The Shadowhunter Chronicles has Tessa. She is a witch, and warlocks and witches are always the common children of demons and humans. However, she doesn't know what kind of creature she is because she lacks a non-human body part that warlocks normally have. She later learns that she is a hybrid of a demon and a shadowhunter.
    • Another volume shows the half-elf Meliorn. Fairies can't lie, but he can because he's half human. However, none of the protagonists know this until it is revealed.
  • It turns out that the reason why the titular character of The Tail of Emily Windsnap transforms into a mermaid when she's submerged in water is because she's half-human, half-merfolk. Such pairings are frowned upon in mer society, to the point that the other Half-Human Hybrid kept trying to erase her mother's memory of merfolk.
  • Sunny from Wings of Fire is assumed to be a deformed SandWing dragon at first; she's missing her kind's venomous tail barb, and her scales are golden instead of pale yellow. It's only at the end of the first arc that she learns that her father was a NightWing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doyle from Angel only found out he was a half-demon shortly after his 21st birthday. At that time, he would always turn into his demonic form whenever he needed to sneeze. This realization destroyed his life and marriage, but also later made him a friend with Angel.
  • One episode of Being Human (UK) has the cast discover that one of their 'human' friends is actually a succubus - a Human-Demon Hybrid - and try to help her come to terms with the fact. The succubus in question, Yvonne, never suspected anything because her appearance is almost entirely human and the only thing she knew of her father was her mother's description of him as "a very cruel man".
  • Doctor Who: An early draft for the TV movie was about the Doctor learning he was half-human, which had been kept a secret so he wouldn't be rejected from Time Lord society.
  • The Flash (2014): In the future, Nora West-Allen discovers her late father Barry Allen was The Flash, making Nora half-metahuman. She is furious with her mother when she discovers that this, along with her own speedster powers, was kept from her. This timeline is later erased, replaced with one where Nora and her brother Bart grew up knowing.
  • The Originals: Klaus Mikaelson grew up believing that he was a human born to a witch and later turned into a vampire. But when he makes his first vampiric kill, it triggers a hidden werewolf gene, revealing that Klaus is not truly Mikael's son, but rather a result of Esther's affair with an unnamed werewolf. This makes Klaus an extremely rare and powerful tribid, part witch, part vampire, part werewolf.
  • Superman & Lois: Jon and Jordan Kent (a decomposite of Jonathan Samuel Kent, above) grew up thinking they were only human. After discovering a spaceship in the basement of their grandparents' barn, they discover their father is Superman. Soon after, Jordan begins to manifest abilities. Both twins initially struggle with the revelation, but Jordan comes to appreciate knowing why he always felt different. Jon, meanwhile, has no powers as of Season 2 and is not affected by Kryptonite like his father and brother. He struggles on and off with feeling powerless and finding his place in the new family dynamic, growing closer to his human mom.
  • Mel in Tracker (2001) assumed she was an ordinary human but discovered she was actually part alien near the end of the series. An It's All There in the Manual said her great-grandfather was Cirronian but they didn’t get a chance to dig into it.

    Video Games 
  • Talia from Ahriman's Prophecy is introduced as a normal village girl who happens to be The Chosen One to defeat Ahriman. Late in the game, the party meets Talia's fairy mother, showing that she's really half-fairy all along.
  • Kharg from Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits has a perfectly normal appearance for a human and no reason to believe himself to be anything else... until his separated-at-birth twin brother Darc, who is very clearly half-Human half-Deimos from his appearance, arrives in Kharg's hometown escorting their dying mother, Nafia. When Kharg returns to town and is confronted by a Torches and Pitchforks mob of fantastic racist villagers, the shock of trying to process all this information causes a pair of dragon-like wings to sprout from his back, confirming his own half-Deimos heritage and terrifying everyone around him.
  • Dragon Quest VIII: The post game reveals the protagonist to be half Dragovian, a powerful species of were-dragon. This is ultimately expressed by his ultimate Heroism skill "Dragon Soul," though he never turns into a dragon himself. Incidentally it was the Dragovians' unwillingness to tolerate the union of a human and a Dragovian or the resultant offspring that allowed the hero to be in a position both to ultimately thwart the game's Big Bad and save the Dragovians themselves in the post game when their leader loses his mind.
  • In the PC hidden object game Edge of Reality: Call of the Hills, the player character and her sister learn that they are the granddaughters of a human man and a female Seed, which is a particular species of magic-wielding elf. (It's never clarified whether it's the girls' mother or father who is half-Seed.) For some reason, the talents of the Seed have not descended equally, so the player character has no magic and appears to be a normal human. Her sister, on the other hand, is the reason this trope happens.
  • Played with in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: Agronak gro-Malog has an unusually pale skin tone for an orc, which he explains as being the bastard son of the human Lord Lovidicus and one of his orc maids. He sets you a quest to break into Lovidicus' castle and steal a journal, which he believes will prove his heritage. It turns out he's half right, and Lovidicus did father a child by his orc maid, but Lovidicus himself isn't fully human... he's a vampire.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Partway through EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce, Magma-O reveals that hero Zophy is actually part phoenix. Zophy has the option to unlock his heritage and become a full flame warrior majin, or retain his humanity and continue his mortal life. This is expanded upon even further in EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist, where Magma-O explains to resident Zophy-buff Wolf that Zophy is for all intents and purposes human for the ancient heritage is so far back as to become diluted... but that he does come from the hybrid lineage of an ancient Latour warrior race and a phoenix. The resemblance is still visible enough for the Duba tribe to see their ancestral foe in him, and Zet recognizes the Latour hero Romes when he looks at him.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance, Soren spent the first eighteen years of his life believing that he was a beorc with an unusual talent for magic. It wasn't until the Greil Mercenaries visited Begnion and Soren was able to browse the library of the imperial palace that he realized that he is a Branded, individuals descended from forbidden unions between beorc and laguz, whose very existence is considered a crime against the goddess.
    • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: Near the midpoint of the game, it's revealed that Byleth is a hybrid of a human and a Child of the Goddess. Their mother also was an Artificial Human of Human/Nabatean hybridization, and their father was a human who received Nabatean blood via a life-saving transfusion. And lastly, the newborn Byleth also had to be given the Crest Stone that formed their mother's heart in order to survive infancy. This unique combination makes Byleth the closest recreation of the original progenitor "goddess", creator of all Nabateans, thus allowing Sothis to manifest in their body for a time.
  • God of War (PS4): Atreus grows up believing that he is a normal human. In a series of events following his mother's death, he discovers that his mother was a Jotunheim Giant and his father is a Greek demi-god, making Atreus half-Jotun, half demi-god.
  • Metroid's Samus Aran is initially known to be a human with experimented genetics, having some Chozo DNA in her, later stated in Samus Returns to be from the Thoha tribe. Metroid Dread reveals that she also was given Metroid DNA, although it never kicked in until she was given a vaccine made from Metroid DNA. It's also indicated that Raven Beak was one of her genetic donors, meaning she also has Mawkin DNA alongside Thoha DNA.
  • Red from Solatorobo doesn't realise he's not an ordinary Caninu until he transforms into a human while fighting the Disc-One Final Boss. In the second half of the story, he learns that he's one of the three surviving hybrids: artificial beings made from human/Caninu biology and Juno technology.

  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Grace grew up thinking she was simply a human-squirrel shapeshifter, but discovered during "Painted Black" that she was a greater chimera/seyunolu — part human, part squirrel, part Uryoum, and part Lespuko (a close relative of Uryoums). She's initially distressed, especially when she realizes she unknowingly grew up with two of her "parents", but eventually takes it in stride, even wishing she could be open about her Uryoum heritage.
    • In "Sister 3: Catspaws", Susan and Diane discover they are both descended from Adrian Raven, an elf and the son of an Immortal. Diane, in fact, discovers Adrian is her father, making her half-elf and one-quarter Immortal. She has started to show signs of this through her persuasive voice, her resistance to magic, and her ability to "taste" magic with her ears.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court: In Chapter 31, Antimony learns from a Trickster God that she's an Uneven Hybrid with fire elementals on her mother's side, that her mother died because her "flame" passed on to Antimony through childbirth, and that her parents and their friends kept her Locked Out of the Loop about it.
  • The Order of the Stick: It's revealed in story that the Draketooth clan are all human dragon hybrids. While no doubt the family itself was aware of this, the elf mage Varsuvius was not when they cast the spell "Familicide" on a mother Black Dragon that was causing them trouble. This ended up killing not only the mother dragon, but anyone related to her by blood, as well as anyone related to them by blood. An act of prideful malice that was already unspeakably evil becomes worse, as it jeopardized the world when the spell included the entire Draketooth clan -the clan that was guarding one of the Cosmic Keystone gates that are keeping the world-ending Snarl Sealed Evil in a Can. There's also the psychological effects on V, but the more immediate concern was the destruction of the gate's defenses and the Big Bad getting a clear shot at stealing it.
  • Yet Another Fantasy Gamer Comic: Glon Smitharm spends most of his early life desperately believing he's half-elf due to his Pointy Ears when everyone can tell he's a half-orc (and shuns him for it). He eventually learns that he is a half-orc, but it's a while before he accepts it (and fortunately, Maula Bloodhand is a very good mother even by human standards). Not just that, but his human father turns out to be the local baron.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time:
    • The finale of the Elements mini series reveals Jake as a hybrid of a dog and a shapeshifting alien that impregnated his father.
    • Marceline the Vampire Queen was thought to be a full-blooded vampire. Then we find out her father is a demon and her mom a human, making her a human/demon hybrid who is later turned into a vampire… yeah it's complicated.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force: Early in the first series, Gwen Tennyson begins to develop magic based powers, which are simply handwaved without a real explanation. Come Alien Force, she gets a visit from Grandpa Max's estranged wife Verdona, who turns out to be a spacefaring alien known as an Anodite who can manipulate energy called "mana." This also results in Gwen gaining a full Anodite form that GREATLY increases her powers, though using it risks her losing her human side. Incidentally this also means Verdona's other grandchildren by Max (Ben, Ken, and Sunny) are also hybrids, though none of them display any powers from it.
  • Gargoyles: After giving birth to her and David's son, Alexander, Fox Xanatos discovers that the woman she knew as her mother Anastasia Reynard is really Titania, Queen of the Third Race. Thus she is half-fae and, more importantly, Alexander a quarter-fae. This becomes a problem as Oberon the Fairy King decrees Alexander must be taken to Avalon so that his magical talents do not die like his mother's. It turns out this is all a gambit by Titania, but it also sours Fox's relationship with her mother.
  • Ninjago: In the third episode of the eighth season, Lloyd and Jay learn about the Realm of Oni and Dragons and that Lloyd's grandfather, the First Spinjitzu Master, was an Oni/Dragon hybrid. This means that Lloyd, as well as his father and uncle, Garmadon and Wu, are all part Oni and part Dragon.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Keith thinks he's human during season one, but in season two he meets a member of the Galra resistance with a sword bearing the same sigil as his knife. Later that season, he's able to transform his knife into a sword, something that can only be done by people with Galra blood, confirming he's half Galra.